July 10: Dr. Helene Gayle, of the Centers of Disease Control, and New
York University's Dr. Roy Gullick, discusses the new AIDS treatments and the 11th
International Conference on AIDS.
1996: Fred De Sam Lazaro reports on the
most recent findings in the fight against AIDS.
April 1, 1996: The NewsHour reports on the
growing business of the AIDS epidemic.
9, 1996: Two AIDS experts discuss the implications of a
controversial bone marrow transplant.
1, 1996: Elizabeth Farnsworth reports on the possibility of using protease
inhibitors to slow the spread of HIV.
past Online NewsHour forums
cure for AIDS -- once only imaginable, is now within reach. That's the message
coming out of Vancouver, where the world's top HIV researchers have gathered for
the 11th International Conference on AIDS.|
Basic research in to how HIV, the
virus that causes AIDS, infects the human immune system has resulted in new drugs
that effectively sabotage the biological machinery that the virus uses to replicate,
and most of the excitement is over protease
inhibitors. These drugs, when combined with other drugs called nucleoside
analogues, have reduced the level of HIV infection to almost undetectable levels
in patients during clinical trials.
AIDS prevention efforts may also be slowing
the spread of disease. The number of AIDS cases reported in United States in 1995
(74,180) is lower than the number reported in 1994 (79,897).
But the Vancouver
conference has also exposed bitter controversies with the AIDS activist and research
communities. While over half a million people have been infected with HIV in the
United States, the disease has become a more devastating epidemic in developing
countries, and AIDS activists have asked why more resources have not been directed
to the Third World to fight the disease.
U.S. minorities--who, as a group,
tend to be poorer--are also disproportionally affected with HIV. Although they
only account for 23% of the population, blacks and Hispanics accounted for 51%
of American AIDS cases, and black men with an HIV infection are four times as
likely to die than a white man infected with HIV.
Furthermore, the extremely-high
price of the new drugs could put them out of reach to those with poor access to
health care. Some have charged that pharmaceutical companies are unfairly
profiting from HIV.
Our forum asks: Will the new drugs lead to a cure,
and, if not, where will a cure be found? Are there other strategies to fight the
disease? Why are some groups more likely be infected with AIDS than others? Will
the new treatments create two tiers of patients--ones who can pay for the treatment
and those who can not?
Your answers will be answered by Dr. Helene Gayle,
head of the Centers for Disease Control's Center for HIV, STD & TB Prevention.
Please submit your questions by noon on July 17, 1996.